Understanding Approaches for Managing Diversity in the Workplace: An Empirical Investigation in Italy

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal article

Purpose – This paper aims to enhance understanding of how companies actually implement diversity management, and of factors that may explain their approach. It does this by framing a tripartite model that articulates a combination of indicators, and by using this model to investigate the prevalent approach for managing diversity in Italy and the contingent factors at play.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents data from a survey conducted among 90 Italian companies, and two focus groups consisting of experts and managers.
Findings – The most common approach among Italian companies is focused on employee integration for social responsibility and legitimacy aims, influenced by social expectations and imitation of the most frequently implemented practices. However, companies seem to lack a clear strategy and dedicated resources.
Originality/value – This study fills a research gap in Italy, where interest in diversity is growing due to the increased participation of women and immigrants in the labor market and the initiatives inspired by the EU and multinational companies. In addition, the research model used in this study integrates existing typologies of diversity management approaches, allowing accurate detection thanks to the development of several practice-based indicators. Its application to real settings shows its descriptive and predictive potential, linking the research model approaches to explanatory factors. Its findings are useful to scholars and practitioners in other countries, and to anyone who is interested in learning more about Italy (or who conducts business there).
Keywords: diversity management; equal opportunities; corporate social responsibility; legitimacy; Italy
Article Classification: Research paper
Original languageEnglish
JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)154-168
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • diversity management, equal opportunities, corporate social responsibility, legitimacy, Italy

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